Streamlining Catering Services Procurement in Schools: The Education Buying Way

In the bustling world of school management, the task of procuring catering services can be an arduous one. Schools juggle a multitude of responsibilities, and when it comes to ensuring that students are well-nourished, compliance and quality are non-negotiable. 

At Education Buying, we understand the intricacies of catering procurement and have developed a solution that streamlines the process, saving schools precious time and resources. Let’s take a journey through the step-by-step process of using our Catering Services Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to simplify catering procurement and ensure that schools serve nutritious and delicious meals without the procurement complexities. 

Step 1: Understanding the DPS Advantage

The foundation of streamlined catering procurement begins with understanding the advantages of a Dynamic Purchasing System. Our Catering Services DPS is PCR15-compliant, offering an easy, supported Further Competition process. It’s tailored for schools, and specifically designed to provide fully managed, outsourced catering services. Here’s why our DPS is a game-changer: 

  • Pre-vetted Suppliers: Our DPS features a roster of pre-vetted suppliers, ensuring that schools have access to trustworthy partners who meet compliance and quality standards. This pre-check process saves schools the time and effort required to conduct these checks independently. 
  • Faster Award Process: With vetted suppliers ready to go, the award process is expedited, allowing schools to secure catering services efficiently. 
  • Geographical Flexibility: The DPS is divided into geographical areas or ‘Lots,’ accommodating both national and local suppliers. This flexibility ensures that schools can choose services that align with their specific needs and preferences. 

Did you know – it’s completely free of charge for schools and trusts to use the DPS?

Step 2: Requesting Admission onto the DPS

One of the primary advantages of a DPS is its open-door policy for suppliers. They can request admission onto the DPS at any time. This unique feature allows schools to run a competitive process and obtain a value-for-money contract. Even your incumbent supplier has the opportunity to participate, ensuring a fair and competitive procurement process. 

Step 3: User-Friendly Procurement Documents

We understand that the world of procurement can be complex, and schools often have limited time and resources. That’s why we provide user-friendly, ready-made procurement documents. These documents come complete with step-by-step instructions, saving schools valuable time. The templates also include ancillary documents, complemented by a detailed user guide. 

Step 4: Expert Support on Hand

Navigating the procurement process can be daunting, but with Education Buying, expert support is always at hand. All further competition documents are checked by our team before they are published on the e-procurement portal. This ensures that the documents are correct and that you get the right catering service to meet your school’s unique needs. 

Step 5: Social Value Integration

At Education Buying, we recognise that school catering is not just about providing meals; it’s an opportunity to benefit the wider community. That’s why our Catering DPS includes social value as part of the assessed award criteria when running a Further Competition. This gives suppliers the chance to suggest social value outcomes that benefit the school and the broader community, fostering a sense of social responsibility and community engagement. 

Free Services from Education Buying

Our commitment to streamlining catering procurement extends to providing free services to schools using our DPS. These services include: 

  • Admittance (following evaluation) of suppliers onto the DPS. 
  • Confirmation of User’s registration with Education Buying, including an introductory courtesy call. 
  • Issue of DPS documents to User. 
  • Receipt of completed Further Competition documents from User and a ‘sense-check’ of the contents. 
  • Publication of Further Competition using e-procurement portal Delta eSourcing. 
  • Monitoring of Further Competition, including liaison for questions from suppliers and publication of responses from the User. 
  • Collation of the Further Competition responses and sending them to the User. 
  • Forwarding feedback letters (to suppliers) from Users. 
  • Publication of the mandatory ‘Contract Award Notice’ within Find a Tender. 

In Conclusion: A Trusted Partner for Streamlined Catering Procurement

Education Buying is more than just a service; we’re your dependable partner in navigating the complex world of school catering procurement. We understand the value of serving nutritious, delicious meals to students, and our goal is to ensure that you can do so without the cumbersome procurement challenges. 

Streamlining catering procurement is about saving time, conserving resources, and providing schools with the tools to make informed, cost-effective decisions. Our Catering Services DPS is the compass that guides schools through this journey, simplifying the process, and enabling schools to focus on what truly matters – the well-being of students. 

By choosing Education Buying, you’re not just accessing a service; you’re gaining a trusted partner that instils trust and confidence in its expertise. We’re here to help you streamline catering procurement, ensuring that schools can serve up nutritious, delicious, and diverse meals with ease.